“If your garage door is hard to open or close, you
should first test the door to identify the source of the problem”
Proper garage door track maintenance will keep your garage door operating smoothly, extending the life of your rollers, hinges, springs and garage door opener. A misaligned door track may lead to binding, dragging and a generally stubborn door.
If your garage door is hard to open or close, you should first test the door to identify the source of the problem. For those with an electric garage door opener, pull the emergency release cord and release the opener from the door. With the opener disconnected, manually open and close the door. If the door is still difficult to open and close, adjustments are needed. If the door works fine, you likely have a problem with the garage door opener mechanism.
Adjusting Garage Door Tracks
With one track on either side of the garage door, they must be in alignment for your garage door to operate properly, guiding your door as it is raised and lowered with an extension or torsion spring. Following are the occasional maintenance steps that should be taken to ensure smooth door operation.
- Be certain the brackets holding your garage door tracks in place are attached solidly. If the screws or bolts holding them in place are loose, tighten them.
- Close your garage door from the inside and carefully inspect the tracks for damage. If one or both of your tracks are bent or dented, you can use a hammer to carefully persuade them back in place. If the damage is extensive, you should replace one or both tracks.
- To ensure smooth door operation, both door tracks must be correctly aligned. Beginning at the front wall, place a level on the vertical tracks to be certain they are both plumb (exactly vertical). The horizontal tracks should have a little slope from the garage door opening downward toward the back wall of the garage. In addition, check to see that both tracks are installed at the same height on the front wall and across the ceiling.
If adjustments need to be made, loosen the mounting brackets by backing out the screws or loosening the bolts holding them in place. With loose brackets, place a piece of wood against the track where it needs to be moved and tap on the block with a hammer. When the track is back where you want it (recheck with your level), retighten the screws or bolts holding the mounting brackets.
Cleaning and Lubricating Garage Door Tracks
Dirty tracks lead to poor performance. Annual cleaning of your garage door tracks takes only a few minutes and is simple to do.
- Use a clean rag and wipe out the tracks using a basic, concentrated cleaner like Simple Green® all-purpose cleaner. Be sure to remove all of the moisture after applying the cleaner. While you’re at it, clean the rollers, too.
- With clean and dry tracks and rollers, apply garage door lubricant to the tracks and oil the rollers (unless they are nylon rollers). For the tracks, use a specially formulated lubricant like 3-IN-ONE® Professional Garage Door Lube or powdered graphite. Both are designed to minimize dust accumulation. For rollers use light weight lubricant like 3-IN-ONE® oil.
With properly maintained garage door tracks your garage door should enjoy a long and practically maintenance free life. Regular, annual maintenance and lubrication is not only a good idea, it will save you time, money and potential future headaches.